Japan’s new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says he will not seek to change the country’s taxes on capital gains and dividends for the time being as he pursues other steps for better wealth distribution, such as raising wages of medical workers.

Kishida, who has vowed to rectify wealth disparities in the country, had previously said reviewing those taxes would be an option in addressing income gaps.

The 64-year-old took the top job in the world’s third-largest economy on Monday, replacing Yoshihide Suga who had seen his support undermined by surging COVID-19 infections.

“I have no plan to touch the financial income tax for the time being,” Kishida told a news program on commercial broadcaster Fuji Television Network.

“There are many other things to tackle first.

“Misunderstanding is spreading that I may do it soon. That will give unnecessary worry to people concerned if not dispelled firmly.”

Some investors have expressed concern the new premier may press ahead with capital-gains tax hikes, signalling a turnaround from investor friendly economic policies pursued by Japan’s longest-serving premier Shinzo Abe from 2013 to 2020.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average has declined seven per cent since Kishida won the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s leadership election late last month, practically securing the post of premier by virtue of the party’s parliamentary majority.

Gains, dividends safe for now: Japan PM
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